Have you ever experienced abdominal bloating?
Most people experience a bloated stomach at some point in their lives. When you have abdominal distention or a bloated stomach, it presents as an uncomfortable sensation. Bloating may be accompanied by gas or bouts of mad dashes to the bathroom.
While the condition can resolve itself, there may be times when having a bloated stomach and feeling tight in the midsection come in recurring episodes. And with people’s generally poor diets, chronic stress, pollutants, and medications, it’s no wonder the digestive system takes a beating, which may manifest in the form of abdominal bloating.
But are there specific things that cause a bloated stomach? How do you find relief?
Here, we’ll talk about the symptoms to watch out for, the causes, and what to do for a bloated stomach to experience immediate relief.
Symptoms of Abdominal Bloating
You should note that bloating is different from weight gain or growth in the tummy region (and usually in the thighs and upper arms) due to fat. The best ways to reduce weight and waist circumference are through a healthy diet and regular exercise.
A bloated stomach is, however, another matter.
When you feel bloated, there’s an intense sensation of gas building up in your digestive system — leading to uncomfortable stomach protrusion. It may come with some abdominal pain as well.
Sometimes, you may feel pain and swelling around the joints, leading to tightened skin. In addition, you may feel full, gassy, and very uncomfortable.
If having a bloated stomach has become a recurring health issue for you and is accompanied by one or more of the following symptoms, it may be time to consult your doctor:
- Blood in the urine or stool
- Brain fog and trouble concentrating
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Irregular periods
- Pain around the lymph nodes (e.g., in the groin, throat, or armpits)
- Skin rashes or hives
- Trouble going to the bathroom
- Unplanned or unexplained weight loss
- Vomiting or nausea
- Signs of an allergic reaction like watery eyes, itchy throat, etc.
Common Causes of Bloating
There are several possible reasons why you may have a swollen belly.
Below, we take a closer look at the most common reasons why you have a bloated stomach.
- Constipation: When you suffer from irregular, infrequent, or unproductive bowel movements, the feces stays in the colon for a longer period. This leads to the fermentation of bacteria that then leads to gassiness and bloating.
- Diet: Consuming too much fiber, dairy products, beans, and other foods can cause gas and bloating.
- Eating too fast: Sometimes, the cause of temporary bloating can be something as simple as eating in a hurry, which leads you to swallow extra air.
- Build-up of gas in the intestines: While gas build-up in the intestines is known to cause bloating, it could also be a sign that you need to see a doctor to determine if you have a gastrointestinal issue.
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD): People with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis experience inflammation in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. In turn, the trapped gas leads to bloating.
- Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO): People with SIBO (an abnormal increase of bacteria in the small intestine) experience dysbiosis (an imbalance of bacteria) in the colon. These bacteria can overpopulate and grow into the small intestine, thereby leading to digestive problems like bloating.
- Miscellaneous medical conditions: Various medical conditions can lead to bloating. Any condition that slows down or interrupts the transit of food in the gut changes the microbiome, leading to an imbalance of gut bacteria, which causes constipation and can lead to stomach bloating. These include ascites (fluid build-up in the abdomen), bowel obstruction, food allergies, gluten intolerance, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and parasitic infections.
If you experience abdominal distension or bloating periodically, keep a food diary and record your symptoms. As always, rather than self-medicating, it’s best to consult your healthcare provider to have a clear diagnosis of the cause and ultimately find a solution.
5 Tips for Immediate Relief From Bloating
The discomfort of a bloated stomach can have you reaching for medications that could do more harm than good.
But if you want quick relief from bloating, here are five tips you might want to consider:
1. Go for a stroll
Physical activity is essential to gut health and one’s general well-being.
A simple exercise like walking can get your bowels moving regularly, releasing excess gas and trapped stool. If you’re feeling constipated, you can get immediate relief by taking a quick walk around the block.
2. Practice therapeutic yoga
There are certain yoga poses designed to position the abdominal muscles to enable the release of excess gas from the GI tract, which can then reduce bloating.
Examples of helpful yoga poses for troubled guts include Child’s Pose, Happy Baby Pose, and squats.
3. Take peppermint oil capsules
Peppermint oil capsules may help with indigestion and gassiness. In addition, experts have studied peppermint oil and how it aids people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and related pain. Even people without IBS can experience relief from bloating after taking peppermint oil.
The oil helps relax the intestinal muscles, thereby allowing gas and stool to move along as they should. However, if you suffer from heartburn, you may need to avoid peppermint as it can worsen your symptoms.
4. Get an abdominal massage
Like babies that suffer from gas due to bottle feeding, massaging the abdomen can help get your bowels moving and facilitate gas release and passing of stools.
The massage should be administered by someone else and ideally follow the route of the large intestine.
Have the one giving the massage follow these steps as closely as possible for best results:
- Have the patient lie down in a comfortable position.
- Place your hands a little above the right hip bone.
- Rub the area in a circular motion, lightly applying pressure up toward the right side of the ribcage.
- Then, rub straight across the upper stomach, toward the left ribcage.
- Next, move your hands down toward the left hip bone slowly.
- Repeat the steps as needed until the patient feels some relief.
- However, discontinue the massage immediately if it causes any pain.
Aside from helping alleviate digestive concerns like bloating and constipation, massage is also known to enhance people’s overall quality of life by promoting relaxation and helping with de-stressing.
5. Eat bone broth
For a long time, people have consumed bone broth to alleviate a range of digestive issues, including cramping, constipation, bloating, and even IBS.
- Improve joint health
- Aid digestion
- Boost the immune system
- Fight inflammation
- Protect and strengthen the digestive tract
Bone broth is a digestive tonic that has existed in traditional cultures for many years. It is a highly recommended food that supports digestive health. In addition, the high collagen and gelatin content of high-quality bone broth products like Babs ensures you consume the ingredients needed to produce amino acids like glutamine, which help ensure a healthy inflammatory response.
As a natural source of collagen needed to protect and soothe the digestive tract lining, bone broth can help alleviate leaky gut syndrome, IBS symptoms, and acid reflux.
Other Practical Tips To Help Resolve Bloating
Aside from the above five solutions recommended to alleviate stomach bloating quickly, below are other easy-to-do practical tips you can implement to get relief:
- Take gas relief capsules like simethicone pills.
- Consume essential oils like fennel and curcumin.
- Have a warm, relaxing bath.
- Gradually increase your fiber intake to prevent constipation.
- Avoid fizzy drinks and drink water instead to avoid abdominal bloating or gas.
- Don’t chew gum and drink with a straw, as doing so can lead you to swallow more air, resulting in gas.
- Eat regular meals to keep the digestive system running like clockwork.
- Include probiotics in your diet as these can help rebalance gut bacteria.
- Reduce your sodium intake since this substance leads to water retention and bloating.
- Get yourself checked for any underlying medical conditions or medications you’re taking that may be contributing to your bloating experiences.
If you plan to take any essential oils or medication for bloating, always do so with a physician’s advice.
Say Goodbye to Bloating
There are many reasons why you may have a bloated stomach, so it’s crucial to find out the root cause. However, you can get quick relief for occasional bloating by applying the first five tips.
For long-term relief from bloating, also consider the practical advice we shared.
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This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of such advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither Babs Bone Broth nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.